CRESTVIEW — Residents' opposition to sections of a proposed animal control ordinance has convinced the City Council to revise currently recommended regulations.
As a result, the ordinance, which would bring Crestview's animal code in line with Okaloosa County's, will be revised during a March 10 workshop.
Several residents on Monday expressed concern for these current provisions:
• The animal control officer could enter private property, even in non-emergency situations, without a warrant
• The city could determine the number of pets to keep
• The prohibition of pot bellied pigs and egg-laying hens
Resident Dr. Jean Mitchell spoke in favor of a provision that others disagreed with. Mitchell said she was pleased to see it would be unlawful for a pet owner to tether the animal to a stationary object.
"The ordinance as written will allow for a runner, trolley or pulley system," Mitchell said.
However, resident Wendell Beatty, who has previously spoken in opposition to parts of the proposed ordinance, said government dictating how an owner restrains pets infringes on individual freedoms.
"Please let the owner determine how they restrain their animals," Beatty said.
Council members agreed with some of the concerns.
For example, residents could violate the code if their dogs or cats had a litter of young that suddenly increased the number of pets over the maximum, Councilman Mickey Rytman said.
Council President Robyn Helt noted that urban chicken raising is becoming more popular, and said she supported it.
Because revising the ordinance to address residents' concerns would also require revisions to the city's land use code, the council agreed to look at both documents during the March 10 workshop.
Council members ask that residents share their concerns in advance of the workshop so City Clerk Betsy Roy can work their suggestions into a revised ordinance.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Crestview City Council Animal Ordinance Workshop
WHEN: 5 p.m. March 10
WHERE: City Hall, 198 N. Wilson St., Crestview